Invariance of a physical system (its action) under a continuous group of local transformations underlain by a global symmetry whose group parameters fixed in space-time have now been extended to vary in space-time instead. Use for buildup of the invariance, fixing the gauge, and accounting for the ...

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21
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4answers
1k views

When can a global symmetry be gauged?

Take a classical field theory described by a local Lagrangian depending on a set of fields and their derivatives. Suppose that the action possesses some global symmetry. What conditions have to be ...
20
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1answer
991 views

Why does charge conservation due to gauge symmetry only hold on-shell?

While deriving Noether's theorem or the generator(and hence conserved current) for a continuous symmetry, we work modulo the assumption that the field equations hold. Considering the case of gauge ...
16
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2answers
489 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
15
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4answers
2k views

To which extent is general relativity a gauge theory?

In quantum mechanics, we know that a change of frame -- a gauge transform -- leaves the probability of an outcome measurement invariant (well, the square modulus of the wave-function, i.e. the ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Noether's theorem and gauge symmetry

I'm confused about Noether's theorem applied to gauge symmetry. Say we have $$\mathcal L=-\frac14F_{ab}F^{ab}.$$ Then it's invariant under $A_a\rightarrow A_a+\partial_a\Lambda.$ But can I say that ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Are there massless bosons at scales above electroweak scale?

Spontaneous electroweak symmetry breaking (i.e. $SU(2)\times U(1)\to U(1)_{em}$ ) is at scale about 100 Gev. So, for Higgs mechanism, gauge bosons $Z$ & $W$ have masses about 100 GeV. But before ...
14
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0answers
241 views

How to apply the Faddeev-Popov method to a simple integral

Some time ago I was reviewing my knowledge on QFT and I came across the question of Faddeev-Popov ghosts. At the time I was studying thеse matters, I used the book of Faddeev and Slavnov, but the ...
13
votes
2answers
529 views

Why do we seek to preserve gauge symmetries after quantization?

Gauge symmetries do not give rise to conservation laws via Noether's theorem, and they represent redundancies in our description of the system. So why do we want to keep them after quantization? For ...
13
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2answers
610 views

If gauge symmetries are fake, then why do we care if they are anomalous?

My understanding is that gauge symmetries are fake in that they are only redundancies of our description of the system that we put in (either knowingly or unknowingly) see Gauge symmetry is not a ...
12
votes
1answer
556 views

What is a “free” non-Abelian Yang-Mill's theory?

I hope this question will not be closed down as something completely trivial! I did not think about this question till in recent past I came across papers which seemed to write down pretty much ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Yang-Mills gauge group assumed compact and semi-simple?

What is the motivation for including the compactness and semi-simplicity assumptions on the groups that one gauges to obtain Yang-Mills theories? I'd think that these hypotheses lead to physically ...
11
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1answer
369 views

**Group structure** in Chern-Simons theory?

A non-Abelian Chern-Simons(C-S) has the action $$ S=\int L dt=\int \frac{k}{4\pi}Tr[\big( A \wedge d A + (2/3) A \wedge A \wedge A \big)] $$ We know that the common cases, $A=A^a T^a$ is the ...
10
votes
2answers
861 views

Understanding Elitzur's theorem from Polyakov's simple argument?

I was reading through the first chapter of Polyakov's book "Gauge-fields and Strings" and couldn't understand a hand-wavy argument he makes to explain why in systems with discrete gauge-symmetry only ...
10
votes
1answer
294 views

Why can't a real scalar couple to the electromagnetic field?

If we have a complex scalar $\phi$ we know that the gauge-invariant interaction with $A$ is given by $A^\mu J_\mu$, where $J$ is the Noether current of the $U(1)$ symmetry of the Lagrangian $$ ...
10
votes
1answer
418 views

Invariance of Functional Integration Measure

Let us consider the functional integral: \begin{equation} \int \mathcal{D} A e^{iS[A]} \end{equation} where $S[A]$ is the action for $U(1)$ gauge field and \begin{equation} \mathcal{D}A\equiv ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Gauge fixing and degrees of freedom

Today, my friend (@Will) posed a very intriguing question - Consider a complex scalar field theory with a $U(1)$ gauge field $(A_\mu, \phi, \phi^*)$. The idea of gauge freedom is that two solutions ...
9
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0answers
308 views

Gauge invariant but not gauge covariant regularization

I'm not sure if someone's already asked this before, but I was wondering, in field theory, when we say that a certain field is gauge invariant but not gauge covariant, what does this mean? In ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Noether theorem, gauge symmetry and conservation of charge

I'm trying to understand Noether's theorem, and it's application to gauge symmetry. Below what I've done so far. First, the global gauge symmetry. I'm starting with the Lagragian ...
8
votes
2answers
905 views

How does non-Abelian gauge symmetry imply the quantization of the corresponding charges?

I read an unjustified treatment in a book, saying that in QED charge an not quantized by the gauge symmetry principle (which totally clear for me: Q the generator of $U(1)$ can be anything in ...
8
votes
2answers
639 views

The gauge covariant derivative and its substitution

I was wondering wether it would make a difference (in general) if I were to were introduce the gauge covariant derivative $$D_\mu=\partial_\mu+ieA_\mu$$ In the Lagrangian density and then derive the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't gauge bosons have mass?

Clearly, a mass term for a vector field would render the Lagrangian not gauge-invariant, but what are the consequences of this? Gauge invariance is supposed to be crucial for the renormalisation of a ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I derive the Lorenz gauge from the continuity equation?

I was reading my old electromagnetics book (Elements of Electromagnetics, by Sadiku, 3rd edition) and after the author explained what the Lorenz gauge is mathematically and why it is useful in ...
8
votes
1answer
451 views

Introduction to Gauge Symmetries: Good, Bad or Ugly?

I'm trying to come up with a good (as in intuitive and not 'too wrong') definition of a gauge symmetry. This is what I have right now: A dynamical symmetry is a (differentiable) group of ...
8
votes
1answer
502 views

Some questions about Ward-Takahashi Identity

I'm a learner of Peskin and Schroeder's textbook of quantum field theory. I have proceeded to Ward-Takahashi identity and have one question when I look for Wikipedia for reference. The following is ...
8
votes
4answers
534 views

What role does “spontaneously symmetry breaking” played in the “Higgs Mechanism”?

In talking about Higgs mechanism, the first part is always some introduction to the concept of spontaneously symmetry breaking (SSB), some people saying that Higgs mechanism is the results of SSB of ...
8
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0answers
190 views

Faddeev Popov Gauge Fixing in Electromagnetism

Reading section 9.4 in Peskin, I am wondering about the following: The functional integral on $A_{\mu}$ diverges for pure-gauge configurations, because for those configurations, the action is zero. ...
8
votes
0answers
308 views

Gauge fields in Polyakov's treatment of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model

I am deriving the results of renormalization for nonlinear sigma model using Polyakov approach. I am closely following chapter 2 of Polyakov's book--- ``Gauge fields and strings''. Action for the ...
7
votes
3answers
690 views

What is the basis of gauge theory?

I’m learning about gauge concepts. I’ve always had the idea that by looking at a phenomenon from different viewpoints, that symmetries could be derived – in fact, that was what an equal sign ...
7
votes
4answers
417 views

Can an Electromagnetic Gauge Transformation be Imaginary?

The Hamiltonian of a non-relativistic charged particle in a magnetic field is $$\hat{H}~=~\frac{1}{2m} \left[\frac{\hbar}{i}\vec\nabla - \frac{q}{c}\vec A\right]^2$$. Under a gauge transformation ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Gauge invariant Chern-Simons Lagrangian

I have to prove the (non abelian) gauge invariance of the following lagrangian (for a certain value of $\lambda$): $$\mathcal L= -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu}_aF_{\mu\nu}^a + ...
7
votes
4answers
567 views

Why gauge theories have such a success?

[This question was inspired by a identical question asked on a other forum] Note that we may morally include general relativity in the gauge theories. We may have several (some are deliberately ...
7
votes
2answers
901 views

Intuition for gauge parallel transport (Wilson loops)

I'm looking for a geometrical interpretation of the statement that "Wilson loop is a gauge parallel transport". I have seen QFT notes describe U(x,y) as "transporting the gauge transformation", and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why mass terms are forbidden?

I would like to clarify my understanding on why mass terms in Lagrangians of gauge theories are forbidden. It's often repeated that particle masses are forbidden by electroweak symmetry because it is ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

Request for Reference: BRST formalism/transformations

Could anyone please suggest a very basic paper/reference/literature on BRST symmetry/formalism that requires rudimentary knowledge of Dirac's method for dealing with constrained systems and generation ...
7
votes
1answer
343 views

Why does local gauge invariance suggest renormalizability?

I'm reading Gauge Field Theories: An Introduction with Applications by Mike Guidry and this particular remark is not obvious to me: A tempting avenue is suggested by the QED paradigm, for if a ...
7
votes
1answer
88 views

Connection beween infinite gauge symmetries and UV finiteness

In e.g., http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:0712.3526 the author claims: Since the massless higher-spin field theories involve infinite-dimensional gauge symmetries, one expects that such theories may be ...
6
votes
2answers
297 views

Gauge invariance and Bohm-Aharonov effect

I am confused with the Bohm-Aharonov effect: though quantum mechanics is said to be gauge invariant, the presence of a solenoid imposes a gauge. I used to think that a phase shift did not change ...
6
votes
2answers
777 views

Gauge fixing and equations of motion

Consider an action that is gauge invariant. Do we obtain the same information from the following: Find the equations of motion, and then fix the gauge? Fix the gauge in the action, and then find the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Invariance, covariance and symmetry

Though often heard, often read, often felt being overused, I wonder what are the precise definitions of invariance and covariance. Could you please give me an example from quantum field theory? ...
6
votes
1answer
457 views

What exactly is the connection between gauge transformations and symmetry groups?

For a given gauge transformation, say, the electromagnetic field, where observable quantities aren't affected by transformations of the form $$\mathbf{A}' = \mathbf{A} + \nabla \chi,$$ $$\phi' = \phi ...
6
votes
2answers
403 views

When can we add a total time derivative of $f(q, \dot{q}, t)$ to a Lagrangian?

The other day, I was listening to this lecture on the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and at one point in the video, the lecturer mentions that we can add any total time ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

“gauge fixed world-sheet action”

My question is in reference to the action in equation 4.130 of Becker, Becker and Schwartz. It reads as, $S_{matter}= \frac{1}{2\pi}\int (2\partial X^\mu \bar{\partial}X_\mu + \frac{1}{2}\psi^\mu ...
6
votes
1answer
318 views

Noether's identities

I have some questions about the Noether's second theorem (generally not covered by field theory books): What is the most general Noether identity for (classical) field theories? Why are Noether ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

What do people mean by gauge invariance of the normalization of field?

Lets have the scalar Klein-Gordon field interacting with EM field: $$ L = \partial_{\mu}\varphi \partial^{\mu}\varphi - m^2\varphi \varphi^{*} - j_{\mu}A^{\mu} + q^{2} A_{\mu}A^{\mu}\varphi ...
6
votes
1answer
357 views

How do non-transverse photon polarizations cancel in Euclidean QED?

First, recall how to write scattering amplitudes in covariant fashion in Minkowskian QED. One starts by considering some process with an external photon whose momentum is chosen to be ...
6
votes
0answers
478 views

gauge invariance of the Feynman amplitudes

When we calculate the photon polarization sums over amplitudes, $$X=\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}|\mathcal M_r|^2=\mathcal M_\alpha\mathcal M_\beta^*\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}\epsilon_r^\alpha\epsilon_r^\beta$$ ...
5
votes
2answers
824 views

Why is the “canonical momentum” for the Dirac equation not defined in terms of the “gauge covariant derivative”?

The canonical momentum is always used to add an EM field to the Schrödinger/Pauli/Dirac equations. Why does one not use the gauge covariant derivative? As far as I can see, the difference is a factor ...
5
votes
1answer
568 views

Field strength vanishes iff $A_{\mu}$ is pure gauge

Is it true that the field strength $F_{\mu\nu}$ in a non-Abelian gauge theory with gauge group $G$ vanishes if, and only if, the gauge field $A_{\mu}$ is a pure gauge? I can show one implication. ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Is gauge connection unique?

In QFT, given a gauge group and matter field, is the form of the gauge field unique? In other words, given a principal G-bundle and its associated vector bundle, is the construction of the principle ...
5
votes
1answer
700 views

Is reparameterization invariance some kind of gauge symmetry?

On page 116 of this book it is said, that reparameterization invariance of the string action is analogous to the gauge invariance in electrodynamices. Whereas Maxwell's equations are symmetric under ...